San Francisco Social Media Conference an Opportunity for Insight on Google+

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Google wants you to be social – but not too social – when using Google+.

The company’s top social executive, Vic Gundotra, recently told attendees at San Francisco’s Web 2.0 conference, last month, that Google is “in an enviable position” in social networking because it already has hundreds of millions of people who use its services worldwide. Naturally, that’s why they gave us Google+.

However, Gundotra cautioned the audience that Google’s answer to Facebook, Twitter and other social media will not replace Facebook. That’s right: Perhaps surprisingly, Google does not believe it can outperform Facebook. Gundotra is quoted as saying that “the incumbent (Facebook) has a huge advantage and if you play the same game it’s hard to win. We’re going to play a different game.”

What game is that, exactly? He went on to say, “We do not believe in oversharing; we believe curation is important.” Was this perhaps a jab at Facebook? Gundotra continued, “There’s a reason why every thought in your head doesn’t come out of your mouth.” Yep, sounds like it was.

In an example of how Google+ may be good alternative to Facebook for some users, Gundotra said, “I don’t want all my music to be shared with everyone” (this is a major feature of Facebook’s Spotify partnership). He also inferred that the same criticism can be applied to Facebook’s efforts to encourage people to share articles they read across the Web (not by users posting links voluntarily, but by its new Open Graph feature, which displays news feed updates that notify users when “(insert friend’s name) just read an article on Yahoo!”, accompanied by a link to the article). Gundotra’s observations may be on par with the opinions of many Facebook users who see the Open Graph feature as yet another way Facebook dupes people into revealing too much about themselves.

In a shift of topic, speaking as the Gundotra also said Google+ pages for businesses and “brands” are “coming imminently,” which may be a welcome opportunity for social networking-savvy businesses like clients of our social media agency. Many brands such as Coca-Cola already use Facebook, Twitter and other services to connect with consumers.

We encourage you to take some time for researching other re-caps of this San Francisco social mediaevent, the Web 2.0 Conference. There was a great deal of useful information presented.


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